Áloþk’s Adventures in Goatland: Áloþk üjy Gígið Soagénličy
|Róaž Wiðz (1882–1937), the locally-admired though otherwise little-known Zumorgian translator, spent seventeen years of his miserable life (when he wasn’t tending to his beloved goats) translating Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into Zumorigénflit and transposing it into Ŋúǧian culture. Sadly, Ŋúǧ was swallowed up by the Soviet Union in 1947. Most of its citizens were either purged (lined up and summarily shot when they refused to combine their goats into a communal herd) or transported to the Gulag for political re-education and attitude adjustment. All cultural artifacts were systematically destroyed and most Zumorigénflit books were burned as part of the Soviet effort to obliterate Ŋúǧ, along with any memory of it. The only known present-day Ŋúǧian survivors of The Great Ŋúǧ Purge (other than any possible survivors of the Gulag, whose descendants might conceivably live in Siberia) are now toothless old women, whose parents fled with them as infants from Ŋúǧ to Transjordan the night of the purge. Today they live (if you can call it that) in a squalid refugee camp on the desert outskirts of Amman surrounded by very unhappy and angry displaced Palestinians. Some of these Ŋúǧian refugees are still able to speak a little Zumorigénflit, though few of them can read it. For those interested in such esoteric things, “Áloþk üjy Gígið Soagénličy” was first published by the Itadabükan Press in the capital city of Sprutničovyurt in 1919. The city, which was mistakenly thought to be a German forward supply area, was literally flattened and burned to the ground by Royal Air Force saturation bombing in 1943, and all that remains of it are a few remnants of the ancient Palace’s foundations and a gigantic reinforced concrete statue of Joseph Stalin, whose face has been shattered by what was probably machine gun target practice. The original story has here been updated to modern times, as if this strange, harsh, and dangerous land still existed in the modern world. It doesn’t, except in my imagination and that of Mahendra Singh, whose heart swells with the Song of the Goat. -- Byron W. Sewell|
From the Guide to Pronunciation:
The Zumorgian language, Zumorigénflit, is a linguistic isolate with features common to the Turkic and Caucasian languages. Its sound repertoire is strikingly similar to that of the Bashkir of Bashkortostan, though Zumorigénflit boasts a number of unique consonant clusters unknown in that language.
Although Zumorigénflit was briefly written in both the Arabic and the Cyrillic scripts, both of these writing systems were abandoned after a pair of Mormon missionaries from Iceland, Steinar Steinsson and Guðmundur Guðmundsson, spent several months working with the Lizg people. Few conversions resulted from Steinar and Guðmundur’s visit to Ŋúǧ, but the two did leave the legacy of a stable orthography which Róaž Wiðz made use of in his translation.
The Zumorigénflit alphabet is as follows:
Aa/Áá, Bb, Cc, Čč, Dd, Ðð, Ee/Éé, Ff, Gg, Ǧǧ, Hh, Ħħ, Ii/Íí, Jj, J̌ǰ, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ŋŋ, Oo/Óó, Pp, Qq, Rr, Ss, Šš, Tt, Uu/Úú, Vv, Ww, Yy, Zz, Žž, Þþ, Ææ, Öö, Üü.Stressed syllables are marked in the orthography with the acute accent, except for the vowels æ, ö, and ü, which are inherently stressed, as are the diphthongs ay, ey, oy, and öy (when in non-final position). Stressed vowels tend to be slightly longer than unstressed vowels, and have a closer quality. The following key will help the reader unfamiliar with Zumorigénflit.
Aa/Áá [ɑ] like the a in English father. The diphthong ay is like the igh in English high.
Bb [b] like the b in English bin.
Cc [ts] like the ts in English tsetse fly. This sound is only used in loanwords from Chechen, Avar, Russian, and other languages.
Čč [tʃ] like the ch in English chin.
Dd [d] like the d in English din.
Ðð [ð] voiced, like the th in English then or the dd as in Welsh Gwynnedd.
Ee/Éé [ɛ] or [eː] like the e in English den when short or like the e in English skein when long. The diphthong ey is like the ey in English fey.
Ff [f] like the f in English fin.
Gg [ɡ] like the g in English gun.
Ǧǧ [ɣ] a voiced ħ [x], like the g in German sagen, like the ğ in Turkish ağa, or the dh in Irish mo dhuine.
Hh [h] like the h in English hen.
Ħħ [x] like the ch in Scottish English loch or German Bach.
Ii/Íí [ɪ] or [iː] like the i in English pin when short or like the i in English machine when long.
Jj [dz] like the dz in English adze. This sound is only used in loanwords from Chechen, Avar, Russian, and other languages.
J̌ǰ [dʒ] like the g in English gin or the the j in English Jim.
Kk [k] like the k in English kin.
Ll [l] like the l in English line.
Mm [m] like the m in English men.
Nn [n] like the n in English nun.
Ŋŋ [ŋ] like the ng in English singer; with g (ŋg) like the ng in English finger.
Oo/Óó [ɔ] or [oː] like the o in English don when short or like the o in English drone when long. The diphthong oy is like the oy in English boy.
Pp [p] like the p in English pin.
Qq [q] a k at the back of the throat like the q in Arabic al-Qur’ān.
Rr [r] rolled like the r in Scottish English grin.
Ss [s] like the s in English sin.
Šš [ʃ] like the sh in English shin.
Tt [t] like the g in English tin.
Uu/Úú [ʊ] or [uː] like the u in English foot when short or like the oo in English spoon when long. The diphthong uy does not occur in Zumorigénflit.
Vv [v] like the v in English vine.
Ww [w] like the w in English win.
Yy [j] like the y in English yen or hippy.
Zz [z] like the z in English zen.
Žž [ʒ] like the s in English measure.
Þþ [θ] like the th in English thin.
Ææ [æ] like the a in English man or hat.
Öö [ø] like the eu in French peur or the ö in German schön. The diphthong öy is like ö followed by short i.
Üü [y] like the u in French lune or the ü in German grün. The diphthong üy does not occur in Zumorigénflit.An annotated glossary is given at the end of the book.
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2011-09-21
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